Webber targeting Le Mans glory as retirement looms

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Mark Webber is already setting his sights on his first victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans as he enters his final two weeks as a Formula One driver.

The thirty-seven year old Australian made his F1 debut in 2002 with Minardi, but his best days have come with Red Bull since 2009 where he has won nine races and three constructors’ championships. However, Webber will retire at the end of the year in favor of joining Porsche’s LMP1 programme that will see him compete in the World Endurance Championship and the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and he is already setting his sights on winning the prestigious race.

“It’s human nature to want more, obviously I want to win Le Mans, to put that with the Monaco – that would be nice,” Webber explained on Australian TV.

“Whether one is enough there, maybe I want to grab a few. But of course you’ve got to get the first one done, which won’t be easy. So that’s the first goal, to win Le Mans, win that outright down the road. And then we’ll go from there.”

Webber is still looking to add one more grand prix victory to his collection in the final two races of the season, but with teammate Sebastian Vettel currently in the form of his life, he appears to face an uphill struggle. Nevertheless, his career has been an impressive one, and he explained in Abu Dhabi that he considers himself to be as good as many world champions.

However, with the all-conquering Audis dominating the race at Le Mans for over a decade now, Webber and Porsche may struggle to win the event at their first attempt in 2014.

Social roundup: Racing world largely outraged by Verstappen penalty

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The discussion over Max Verstappen’s post-race five-second time penalty assessed in Sunday’s United States Grand Prix, issued when he tried to the inside of Kimi Raikkonen at the Turns 16, 17 and 18 carousel complex at Circuit of The Americas, will roll on far beyond today.

The debate today largely centered over consistency in adjudication and application of the rules, track limits themselves (always a sore subject at COTA given its wide runoff areas) or whether there should be permanent stewards.

In the immediate aftermath, though, Twitter lit up with outrage over Verstappen being assessed a five-second post-race time penalty.

Here’s a mere sampling of the reaction, below.